Film & Television
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COM FT 101: History of Global Cinema I: Origins through 1950's
This course is the first of a two-part sequence that aims to give students an introductory overview of the history of global cinema. The present course covers the period from the beginning of cinema through the 1950's. This course introduces students to various aspects of cinema that have to be considered un the rubric "film history:" modes of production, national and transnational frameworks, film aesthetics, film art and authorship, and various historical and socio-cultural factors that have influenced the production, circulation, and reception of films around the globe.
COM FT 102: History of Global Cinema II: 1960's to the present
This course is the second of a two part sequence that aims to give students an introductory overview of the history of global cinema. The present course covers the period from the 1960s to the present. The course introduces students to various aspects of cinema that have to be considered under the rubric "film history:' modes of production, national and transnational frameworks, film aesthetics, film art and authorship, and various historical and socio-cultural factors that have influenced the production, circulation and reception of films around the globe.
COM FT 201: Screen Language: The Aesthetics, Grammar and Rhetoric of the Moving Image
This course is designed to help students communicate through audio, still images and moving pictures. We will study how films and photographs of various kinds communicate ideas, tell stories, and convey artistic expression. Students will then be given many opportunities to demonstrate their own grasp of fundaments of communication and storytelling through images, sounds and montage. The aim of this course is not simply to reinforce existing rules but rather to test the validity of those norms. Accordingly, students will be asked both to employ and to violate conventions.
COM FT 250: Understanding Film
Understanding Film will introduce students to key aesthetic aspects of film. Students will explore a range of styles and genres in film, including narrative and non-fiction forms, and dominant and alternative styles. Students will also study a variety of historical examples of theses different styles that illustrate the expressive possibilities of image and sound. Finally, students will learn to analyze and write about these formal elements, viewing both complete films and individual sequences.
COM FT 303: Understanding Television
Television as an industry, a technology, and a cultural object is currently experiencing a period of accelerated change. Despite the accelerated nature of this change and its amplification through social media discussions, understanding television's history will help us to understand television's present. This is a history course with American television as its subject. By exploring the history of television, we also must study the history of radio as television's precursor medium and television through the digital transition. Thus, the course covers the late 19th century through to the present. While the focus is on American television and its related media, the forms these media take occur in the context of other nations, particularly Great Britain, creating their own broadcasting structures. The nature of this particular history is heavily reliant on cultural, social, industrial, and political histories, so those will be the foci through which we will study the history of each "new" media--radio and television were once new media, too--as it emerged, stabilized, interacted with other media, was regulated and deregulated, and was shaped by and shaped the culture around it. Moreover, in light of current television practices, we will be exploring television's national mass-medium foundations and how the origins of broadcasting created an environment that eventually led to today's fragmented media environment.
COM FT 304: Film Industry
A survey of current business trends in the motion picture industry. Focuses on script development; studio structure; agents, attorneys, and contracts; independent filmmaking; and distribution.
COM FT 310: Storytelling for Film & Television
Required of all undergraduate students in Film & Television. An introduction to the art and craft of storytelling through the moving image. Particular emphasis will be given to writing short scripts. Topics covered include character development and narrative structure as it applies to shorts, features and episodic television.
COM FT 325: Producing I
This course takes students through the process of creating non-fiction TV programming. Think talk shows, reality programs, and documentaries. How to create a concept, write a proposal, cast a program, and develop a marketing reason to do the program. It's all part and parcel of being a creative producer.
COM FT 353: Production I
An intensive course in all the fundamental aspects of motion picture production. Students learn to use cameras, sound recording equipment and editing software and then apply these skills to several short productions. The course emphasizes the language of visual storytelling and the creative interplay of sound and image.
COM FT 401: Romantic Comedies and Melodramas
Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 360.
This class will view and discuss romantic comedies and domestic melodramas made in Hollywood in the 1930's and 1940's. these films were some of the most popular and culturally significant of their time, involving many of the era's best screenwriters and directors and most prominent stars. The films set standards for dialogue writing, rich characterization, film performance and story structure.
COM FT 402: Production II
Undergraduate Prerequisites: FT353 and either FT526 or FT593 or FT565 or FT520
Intermediate motion picture production with an emphasis on narrative storytelling, high definition cinematography, sync-sound location recording, and multi-track editing. Students develop, produce, direct, shoot, record and edit medium-length productions that are of film festival quality, and which can be incorporated into highlight and demo reels.
COM FT 404: Asian Cinema
Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 360.
Surveys important and influential films from India, Japan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and elsewhere in East Asia from the 1950s to the present, taking in the work of such directors as Satyajit Ray, Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Zhang Yimou, Tsai Ming-liang, and Wong Kar-wai. The course is designed to make students familiar with foundational styles of realism and fantasy in Asian film and with ways Asian films address changes and evolution in Asian culture and society. The course should help students understand certain traditions in Asian film, and prepare them to engage critically with the ever burgeoning, new, and compelling filmmaking that comes from this part of the world.
COM FT 411: Screenwriting II
Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 310; Grade of B+ or better in COM FT 310.
Writing the feature-length narrative film; creation of characters, narrative outline; writing the first draft of an original screenplay.
COM FT 412: Screenwriting III
Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 411; Grade of B+ or better in COM FT 411.
Writing an original (second) feature-length screenplay (a first draft and set of revisions required). Further study of dramatic structure: tone and rhythm.
COM FT 456: Acting for Directors and Writers
Develops the director's knowledge and understanding of actors --the "human equipment" of filmmaking--through direct acting experience. Students learn the language and tools of the craft through sensory exercises, improvisation, text analysis, and scene study.
COM FT 457: American Masterworks
Subjects vary with the instructor. Directors discussed include D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, King Vidor, Frank Borzage, Victor Fleming, Howard Hawks, Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, John Huston, Elia Kazan, George Cukor, Orson Welles, Robert Altman, John Cassavetes, and Woody Allen.
COM FT 458: International Masterworks
An eclectic and unsystematic survey of a small number of the supreme masterworks of international film created by some of the greatest artists of the past eighty years. The focus in on cinematic style. What does style do? Why are certain cinematic presentations highly stylized? What is the difference from realistic, representational work? We will consider the special ways of knowing, thinking, and feeling that highly stylized works of art create and devote all of our attention to the function of artistic style and form to create new experiences and ways of thinking and feeling.
COM FT 465: Hi-Def Production
Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 402.
This course allows students to write, shoot, edit and complete a short "film" entirely in the High Definition digital video format. Students use state-of-the-art High Definition cameras and complete the post-production process in the new Ezratti HD Lab created for High Definition editing and screening. The "films" are produced using professional actors and are targeted for film festival entry. A previous project from this class won the First Place prize at the 2009 Redstone Film Festival. 2nd Sem
COM FT 466: Special Topics
COM FT 468: Production III
Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 402 and COM FT 403.
This is an honors thesis class for undergraduates who have taken Production II as well as other high-level production classes, such as Directing, Cinematography, Sound Design, Motion Picture Editing, etc. Students apply to the class as either as producers, directors, cinematographers, editors, sound designers and production designers. Directors submit scripts for consideration. The production faculty then selects eight directors, based on the scripts and each candidate's previous work. Faculty then selects the producers, cinematographers, editors, sound designers, and production designers based on their previous production work and their ability to work as members of a team. The class forms production teams to make eight thesis- quality films that can compete with the best student films in America. Maximum running time for each film is fifteen minutes.